LEDs in Hospitals: a New-Age in Healthcare

Light is one of the most important elements in an operating room. It has a big impact on the course of an operation. The quality lighting surrounding is essential for every successful procedure.

Benefits of LED lights for Hospitals

Improve the patient’s experience

Improve the workers attention and focus

Save the Hospital money on energy bills

Reduce the facility’s carbon footprint

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The Interesting History of Lighting in Hospitals

Light is one of the most important elements in an operating room. It has a big impact on the course of an operation. The quality lighting surrounding is essential for every successful procedure. The journey through centuries has allowed us to find lighting that is flexible and suitable for every situation in Hospitals, and for everyone who finds itself in it.

It All Began With Sunlight and Candles

In the 19th century, surgeons relied on the time of the day and natural sunlight to perform surgery, by using mirrors on four corners of the ceiling to reflect the sunlight towards the operating table. In addition to those circumstances, surgical lighting operating rooms were built towards the south-east, with windows in the ceiling, to benefit from the natural sunlight as much as possible. The first surgical operations were illuminated with sunlight from 10,000 lx to 80,000 lx, depending on the time of day and cloud cover. Before electricity allowed light bulbs to illuminate the Hospital, the candle’s popularity found its way to operating rooms. Surgeries were performed during daylight hours, as well with the help of candlelight.

Electrical Lights Making an Entrance

Surgical lights as we know them today have evolved over more than a century since electricity was first discovered in 1879. The first lamp to use chlorine halogen gas was patented in 1882. When the electric lights made their entrance into the operating room, it quickly showed problems. At this early stage of electricity, the ability to control the light emitted was very low. The light created was still moving and diffused, with great heat radiation. The first commercial halogen lamp that used iodine as a halogen gas was patented in 1959 by General Electric. The use of halogen bulbs increased the amount of light available on the operating table to 100,000 lx. Thirty years later, discharge lamps nearly doubled the available light to 200,000 lx. But this “more is better” approach led to eye tiredness, diminishing surgeons’ effectiveness.

LED Lights: The Next Step in Healthcare

With the introduction of light-emitting diodes (LED) as light sources for Hospitals, the problem of eye tiredness on surgeons performing an operation was reduced. Today, more and more surgical lights operate with LEDs. LED lights use less energy to produce cooler illumination, which gives surgeons the visibility they need to make effective diagnostic decisions.

Doctors, nurses, and staff of hospitals require high-quality, bright, cool light in order to provide proper care and operate efficiently. Patients, on the other hand, fare better with lighting that best supports their circadian rhythm and provides an environment suitable for rest. A balance between lighting that is best both for biological aspects and for visual acuity is necessary and possible with LED lights. Therefore, the need for LED lights in Hospitals is crucial.

The transition to LED lighting not only allows Hospitals to provide better service to their patients, and a better environment for their staff but reduces maintenance and energy costs- the resources that can be spent on people, rather than bulbs. Energy savings provided by upgrading to LED lights result in drastic reductions in CO² emissions, reducing Hospitals’ footprint.

Australian Government Incentives

Governments across Australia, specifically the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) and New South Wales Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) are offering rebates and financial incentives for businesses prepared to switch over to LED lights.

Australia’s third-largest private hospital operator, St John of God Health Care, implemented LED lighting solutions in its hospitals and healthcare centers. By replacing conventional incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent lamps with LED lights, they have shown an average drop in overall energy consumption of 12.53%. This is equivalent to 397 cars.
Lighting at hospitals and healthcare clinics should be bright and of high quality, so that both patients, hard-working doctors, and nurses have the optimal work environment.

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LED Lights for Health and Care of Patients

There are specific ways that LED lighting in Hospitals benefits for health and care of patients. One of the overarching benefits of using LEDs in a healthcare environment is the much more natural look, compared to fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. LED lights can mimic the hue and intensity of natural sunlight and help to maintain the human body’s natural circadian rhythm. This is because LED components allow for finer adjustments of colour, brightness, and intensity. This natural lighting helps keep patients, especially overnight patients, circadian rhythms in order, which in turn can help reduce recovery time.

LED Lights Balances Circadian Rhythms

Doctors usually tell their patients: For healing and feeling better, the key is in having plenty of deep and restful sleep! So, to achieve a good night’s sleep, a patient must be able to regulate their body’s circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. One of the most important and well-known circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle. The best way to regulate circadian rhythms, or sleep-wake cycles, is by proper quality lighting.

Spending the majority of the daytime outdoors is crucial for well-balanced circadian rhythms. However, humans today spend plenty of their time indoors. This lack of white/blue sunlight during the day affects the body’s rhythms, leading to restless sleep. Patients who stay in Hospital receive less natural light, which leads to outbalanced circadian rhythms and causes bad sleep patterns. The result is a longer healing process which means- more time in the hospital.

LED lights balance Circadian Rhythm in an ability to change Colareted Colour Temperature (CCT) according to different shades of sunlight present during the day.

LED Lighting Used To Comfort Hospital Patients in Critical Care

Critical Care is medical care for people who have life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Besides the fact that no one actually enjoys being in the hospital, the Critical Care Unit is especially stressful for patients due to their condition and surroundings. However, in a Charité Clinic in Berlin, LED lighting used to comfort hospital patients has proven to be quite effective.

The LED lighting was placed into the ceiling panels and designed to offer cold and warm tones to simulate daylight and recreate sunlight. The system mimics realistic daylight cycles and has been shown to help patients sleep better. This results in faster recovery since the patients are better rested. Using this method of lighting is beneficial for the mental state and physical health of patients.

Studies have shown that the isolation in the Critical Care Unit, combined with poor quality lighting and loud unpleasant noises from the medical equipment, can contribute to patients collapsing into shock. By eliminating just one of these factors, patient health could be drastically improved. An added bonus of the LED light panel is an increase in the sense of well-being among hospital staff. When the nurses and other staff feel calmer, they tend to pass this to their patients, as well.

LED Lights for the happiness of patients

Lighting has a direct impact on patient health and mood. Studies have shown that proper lighting in hospitals helps to reduce depression among patients, decrease the length of stay in hospitals and ease the pain. Quality, proper lighting such as LED lighting affects a patient’s mood in a positive outcome. It is able to increase happiness, creating more optimistic staff and patients. When patients are happier, their immune systems function better, also helping with their recovery time.

LED Lights for Faster Recovery Time

In the research study The effects of natural daylight on length of hospital stay, published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, the main purpose was to demonstrate the effectiveness of daylight on patients’ recovery time, using medical data collected in a period of over 15 years.

Through analysis of 38 788 patients with a bed near the window, and 46 233 patients with a bed near the door, results revealed that patients’ length of stay was shorter for those with beds near the window, due to a presence of natural light, compared with those near the door.

To ensure that the patients near the door where less natural light is present, also have a shorter recovery time, Hospitals should upgrade to LED lights, due to the fact that LEDs are the most similar solution to daylight.
Improve the Night-Shift Worker’s Concentration and Awareness with LEDs

Operations and treatment are now frequently performed at night for capacity reasons, in emergencies, and for economic reasons. Night shifts and 24/7 working are routine in hospitals. The issues of night lighting affect many people working in hospitals, from nurses, site managers, and security staff to doctors. Lack of direct, bright light makes it difficult to keep a normal sleep pattern and decreases their concentration and awareness on the job, in comparison to the day-shift workers.

In order to regulate the body’s circadian rhythms, patients and night-shifters must be exposed to constant daylight or consistent artificial full-spectrum lighting. Providing full-spectrum lighting with LED lights in Hospitals can help reduce healing time and keep the staff alert.

Working in the healthcare industry is very responsible and requires the best possible Hospital environments to keep employees productive, alert, and concentrated. Hospitals are high-intensity 24/7 working environments in which staff must be able to communicate effectively with patients and concentrate on demanding tasks. To be able to make quick decisions under pressure at any time of the day or night, their sense of well-being and motivation play a significant part in how a hospital performs and by that also have an influence on patient recovery processes.

Energy and Maintenance Saving Benefits with LED lights

Hospitals and healthcare facilities with several hundreds of beds utilise a significant amount of energy for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and operating medical equipment, to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for patients, staff, and visitors. Balancing demands to reduce operating costs, accomplish strict sanitation and safety standards and provide a healing patient experience, can be a challenge for Hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Hospitals require lights to always be on, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Energy bills for healthcare facilities can be high. According to Business Energy Advisor, a standard hospital in the United States could use roughly 31.0 kW/h of electricity per square foot.

Additionally, sufficient infrastructure and spare space in Hospitals must be kept available to cope with emergencies such as epidemics. These are the costs that must be kept as low as possible.
Lighting and water heating were found to represent approximately 65% of the total energy use in Hospitals. This means that older buildings, in particular, and their supply systems and technologies are no longer fit for purpose by today’s standards. They result in high energy consumption and excessive costs.

LED lights have a long lifespan, which is very important for large Hospitals with important everyday missions. When lights burn out, mistakes could happen, patients are at risk, and valuable time is wasted. Burned-out bulbs in MRI and CT scan rooms can cost a hospital thousands of dollars for every hour that is lost, followed by loss of productivity and delays in patient diagnosis.

Another benefit of using LED lights in Hospitals is that they emit very little heat. This is one of the crucial reasons to use LED lights in operating rooms. Surgeons and nurses need to feel comfortable during the operation procedure. Working under lights that emit a lot of heat increases the risk of mistakes during an operation, and can dry out a patient’s exposed tissue.

Lighting has a big impact on the total energy balance. Saving energy starts with using modern LED light technologies. By implementing LED light technologies, Hospitals will have the potential to save money, become more energy-efficient, and enhance the overall environment.

Improve the Reliability of Your Hospital Lighting

In addition to cost, energy, and maintenance savings, LED lights can provide a healthier and more comfortable environment for patients and staff. LEDs offer real-time controllability, which helps hospitals find a solution for every demand. Two of the most important tuning capabilities that LEDs provide which drastically impact light output are:

  • The Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) and
  • The Colour Rendering Index (CRI).

The Best Correlated Colour Temperature For Hospitals

LED lights are available in several shades of white. These shades are referred to as a bulb’s correlated colour temperature (CCT), measured in Kelvin (K). Different temperatures on the Kelvin scale represent different colours:

  • Light at 2000K-3500K looks more orange/yellow and is called ultra warm or warm white.
  • Light at 3500K-5000K changes to more of a “paper white” known as natural or neutral white.
  • Light at 5100K-20000K turns into a bluish-white known as cool white.

 

Throughout the day, natural light changes from a warm white colour at dawn to natural white, then to a cool white in the afternoon, back to natural white, and eventually to an ultra-warm white colour at sunset. Our bodies are used to this cycle of light.

According to Healthy building science, different types of light trigger different physiological effects. Blue/white light such as bright midday light lowers melatonin, a hormone that the brain produces in response to darkness, and increases serotonin, a hormone that stabilises mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. On the other hand, red/orange light triggers melatonin in preparation for going to sleep. If everything is in balance, the body will generate all hormones in the right quantities at the right time of day.

According to the study The Impact of Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings ”Warmer colour temperatures lead to the release of melatonin, which causes drowsiness. This is appropriate during bedtime hours but causes problems for those who need to stay awake, such as overnight nurses and doctors. Introducing natural or cool white light to hallways, operating rooms, and nurse stations can help hospital staff, especially overnight workers, feel more alert and energetic”.

Improved Colour Rendering Index Leads to Improved Accuracy

Healthcare workers must diagnose patients’ conditions based on accurate visual inspection, which requires them to see colours as they truly are. Unreliable colour rendering of skin or blood could lead to a misdiagnosis or failure to see signs of infection or jaundice. Jaundice is usually first noticed based on the colour of a patient’s skin. A light source’s ability to show more colours, increases its accuracy in revealing the true colours of people, objects, and surroundings.

The colour rendering index is measured on a scale from 0 to 100 percent. The higher the CRI means, the better the colour rendering ability. Light sources with a CRI of above 90 percent are considered excellent. LED light’s CRI can range from 70% to 98%, making it the closest to natural light compared to other light types. LED lights are therefore suitable for use in healthcare facilities and very effective in improving medical diagnosis of patients.
The standards for lighting levels specified by the Illuminating Engineering Society, or the International Electrotechnical Commission standard number 60601-2-41 requires: “Particular Requirements for Surgical Luminaires and Luminaires for Diagnosis, specifies that the Colour Temperature for lighting for Diagnosis should be between 3000k and 6500 K and Colour rendering Index should be between 90-100%”.

Does it Matter if the Hospital Building is New or Old?

Whether the Hospital building is old or a new-build, the main factor in which LED lighting can be optimised for its purpose, is the creation of a healing, pleasant environment. Interior design, lighting, and luminaires are important factors when it comes to ensuring straightforward orientation in Hospital buildings. It doesn’t matter if the building is old or new, with the poor quality lighting there will be unpleasant results.

Orientation and footprint of the Hospital building will be a more determining factor in the capture and control of daylight, than the age of the building. Older buildings may have less glass and fewer windows, which results in letting lower amounts of daylight into the rooms. In that case, upgrading to LED lights will fulfil the lack of natural sunlight into some dark north-facing corners of a room.

A maintenance plan is essential for lighting in Hospital buildings. Composed at an early design stage of the modern Hospital building, it can ensure that the quality and standard of the visual environment remains high. For instance, once it is known how many beds there will be, or where monitors will be located in an operating theatre, it is easier to think about where to place LEDs.

How to Design Hospital Lighting With The Latest LED Technology?

The hospital lighting design should meet the actual functional requirements of hospital premises and their purpose. Creating a comfortable lighting environment, allowing patients to communicate with doctors to get a good diagnosis and treatment is the essence of outpatient lighting design.

What Type of LED Fixtures Should Be Used for Hospital Patient Room Lighting?

Bringing a home-like feel to a patient room enhances the patient’s emotional and physical well-being. The ambiance of a patient recovery room depends on the equipment and quality of lighting. Indirect general lighting is great for an open, stimulating room ambience or individual reading. The efficiency of the LED lights at the bedside in combination with LED downlights for room lighting can be optimised even further through presence detectors and daylight sensors. Eco Origin LED downlights with dimmable capability, will make it possible to bring a room alive, by dynamically using varying illuminance levels and light colours.

What Type of LED Fixtures Should Be Used for Hospital Corridor Lighting?

Corridors are not just functional areas, they are also places where people work, meet and stay some time. Eco Origin LED Battens not only provide guidance and orientation in long corridors, but they are extremely efficient compared with existing solutions that use fluorescent lamps. Emergency and safety lighting will ensure orientation and safety, contribute to the sense of well-being of patients, visitors and employees and also meet requisite facility management requirements. LED batten is ideal for busy Hospital environments looking for energy-efficient, cost-effective LED lighting solutions.

What Type of LED Fixtures Should Be Used for Hospital Waiting Area?

In a waiting room, people are under stress, overwhelmed with undesirable feelings such as insecurity, anxiety, and impatience. These stress factors are often increased by the lack of daylight in waiting areas, which are frequently located deep inside the building.

Eco Origin LED downlights will reduce sharp shadow detail and provide significantly improved comfort, compared with familiar solutions that use compact fluorescent lamps. LED Spotlights in a Hospital waiting room will create calming lighting effects on walls. These LED light patterns ensure that waiting is pleasant and help people to relax.

What Type of LED Fixtures Should Be Used for Hospital Cafeteria?

The hospital cafeteria is one of the most important areas for well-being and communication among patients, visitors, and staff. It is desirable to manifest a home-like atmosphere. With a range of features available, Eco Origin LED Panel lights are perfect for this purpose, because they produce a soft, pleasant effect and prevent excessive shadow detail. With LED Spotlights calming effects, spending time in the cafeteria will be pleasant and helpful for staff on a lunch break, visitors who are waiting, and patients on treatment.

What Type of LED Fixtures Should Be Used for an Examination Room?

A LED lighting solution that can be easily adjusted to suit various work situations is a basic need for examination rooms. Eco Origin LED lights are made for both, ergonomic and design requirements. Communication between doctor and patient is encouraged by reduced, private room lighting, which can be provided by LED Globe and LED PAR38. The wide glowing surfaces of LED lights provide a friendly, stimulating room atmosphere with reduced shadow. A LED lighting system not only makes it possible to save energy, but it also ensures that artificial lighting levels are optimally adjusted to suit particular surroundings and available daylight.

What Type of Fixtures Should Be Used for Healthcare Lobby Lighting?

The lighting in the entrance area is a connection between individuals and the facility itself. The reception area creates the first lasting impression and makes a significant contribution towards establishing the public appearance of a facility. The main purpose of the lighting concept for the entrance area is to “lighten” up the mood (metaphorically and literally) of people entering a hospital.

The Eco Origin LED Panel lights provide a welcoming ambiance and play a secondary role in the entrance area while making it easier for people to find their heading. LED lights ensure that emotionally and physically stressed visitors soon feel better and calmer.

Conclusion

In the beginning, when electrical lights made their entrance, there was no such thing as ‘healthy lighting’. Conventional lighting sources such as incandescent and fluorescent lights provided the light they did, and no one questioned the lighting’s impact on work environments and well-being. But with the development of the LED technology, researchers found that the light emitted from LEDs was of significantly higher quality closely compared to natural daylight, and generally made people feel better when exposed to it for longer periods of time.

Why is Eco Origin hospital LED lighting a great solution?

Hospital premises have special requirements regarding lighting, cleanliness of the luminaires, and maintenance. It is essential that medical light works flawlessly, and that maintenance, if needed, is quick and easy because the Hospital never sleeps.

Eco Origin Hospital LED lighting fixtures are smooth surfaces, enabling easy cleaning, and integration into hospital interior design. The quality of Eco Origin LED light products is at the highest level. Eco Origin team is able to assist during and post upgrades, providing support when needed.
Hospital lighting is highly specialized work and should be entrusted with professionals to meet the hospital with professional lighting requirements.
Eco Origin company could bring well-being, work efficiency, and energy savings along with the newest innovative LED lighting solutions to Hospitals and healthcare facilities!

Article written by Eco Origin

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